After getting an early start, I rolled over to a Nahia Iraqi Council Meeting in style via stud infantrymen. Exiting the dropped back hatch of a Stryker vehicle is the only way to make a grand entrance. The focus of today’s meeting was not only to touch base with local government officials and update one another on events of the past week, but to address the building of a new IP (Iraqi Police Station) and local irrigation system. It didn’t take long before I noticed the level of comfort and professionalism demonstrated by all in attendance. With approximately 35 Iraqi men, 2 U.S Army officers, 2 interpreters and I in the room, a well orchestrated meeting took place. Lasting more than 2 hours, the meeting was productive and proved to me an effective level of partnership shared between the local Iraqis and the U.S military.
Following the council meeting we returned to our COB (combat operating base) only to rest and re-fuel for a couple of hours, before heading out again for dinner and discussion with a local Sheik. Again, I was impressed by both the hospitality of the Sheik permitting my attendance, as well as the skilled dealings of my embed unit. Today showed me first-hand the genuine alliance between Iraqis and the U.S. military to re-build the country of Iraq and conquer terrorism.
Another early one tomorrow-so until then, never quit…ever.